Poetry: Mirage by Andrew Mobbs
Andrew Mobbs here reveals that uncomfortable truth: violence is seductive. A poem of war and explosion and desert, “Mirage” lingers beyond the edges of traditional combat poetry to deliver the experience and mind of today’s newly defined wars.
And then one night, L. leaned against his gunmetal gray
Tacoma, camouflaged by the winter darkness, taking
me back with him to his last time in the desert. Our
platoon, he recalled, was on the perimeter of Fallujah
when a not-too-distant explosion penetrated the sky,
a cocktail of soundwaves and chemicals disintegrating
the Sunni sand grain by grain, shattering microscopic
glass infinite times. This wasn’t the first bomb we saw,
but it pealed in our ear canals and seared our unwashed
American skin just like all the rest from our missions
past and nightmares ahead. But this one mesmerized
my buddy, C.D., so he started towards it, weapon inert,
levitating on Death’s carpet with no fucking qualms
because he just knew some kind of beautiful treasure
had to be hidden deep within the bowels of flame and
smoke, and it was only for him, and only he could take
it home. We shouted his name voicelessly, sprinted
towards his figure in slow motion and brought him back
unharmed, his eyes the size of planets, frozen in that
moment, begging us, I want to go, c’mon guys, let’s go.
Andrew Alexander Mobbs is an Arkansas native currently based in Flagstaff, AZ. In 2013, he released his debut poetry collection, Strangers and Pilgrims (Six Gallery Press). His poems also appeared in Deep South Magazine, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Bayou Magazine, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Poetry Quarterly, and elsewhere. He was a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee, and he co-edits the online literary magazine Nude Bruce Review. When he's not immersed in poetry, he's likely taking a walk in the bitter cold.